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fruit picking: (2 Viewers)

dannyboy

Friends of WF
Fathom this, floating oranges, peeled
with fingers and teeth, drift
between words shared
on that backstep, looking out
at the decrepit sheds
full of old toys so lost they spoke
amongst themselves
and to you, that was the shock
even back then, so many things spoke to you
as your father did not, the beer spoke to him
and kept him silent unless rage took hold
then we’d sit on the back step
and share another orange –

even now, old and gray, when I
choose an orange
out of the fruit bowl, my legs automatically
wander me outside
sit me down on the back step, as I pluck
the first hole with two front teeth
as you always did back then
I recall again the sound
of china teacups as they hit
the shocked walls in a song
accepted even as skin and bones
reverberated like cheap plaster.
 

jenthepen

Staff member
Mentor
Wow, there is so much trauma, nostalgia, quiet comfort and shared sorrow in your poem. How evocatative small items can be is the central theme of the poem but the memories stirred create the impact. A moving and gently disturbing piece of work that will stay in my mind for a long time. Thank you for posting.
 

Bansi

Senior Member
Memories...! They can make us and break us and make us write poems as well....
this has lot of emotion in it. The trauma felt in that time, recalling all that happened disturbs you and comes alive in your mind.... and it is shown very aptly in this poem.. (by you i don’t mean you, in general i have used the word)
memories is what a person leaves behind for others to remember them...!
 

Matchu

Senior Member
It is a very pleasurable piece. Just the potential even...how a couple of actor [brats] could harness your words under spotlight. Accessible, universal, versatile. Rhythm tight.
 

dannyboy

Friends of WF
thank you everyone, I recently caught up with this orange girl and even now she has things talk to her, things that might be laughed at but given her indigenous world view, she does not, and so nor do I. She always says hello to magpies and listens to their songs in a way that makes me envious (which is the next poem I suppose).
 

jenthepen

Staff member
Mentor
I like the sound of the orange girl! I've always seen persnalities in creatures large and small. I even talk soothingly to spiders as I remove them from the house and put them outside. I can't bear to think of them full of fear. My husband is convinced I'm completely barking mad but at least it's a gentle madness. ;)
 

Firemajic

Poetry Mentor
Staff member
Senior Mentor
Fathom this, floating oranges, peeled
with fingers and teeth, drift
between words shared
on that backstep, looking out
at the decrepit sheds
full of old toys so lost they spoke
amongst themselves
and to you, that was the shock
even back then, so many things spoke to you
as your father did not, the beer spoke to him
and kept him silent unless rage took hold
then we’d sit on the back step
and share another orange –

even now, old and gray, when I
choose an orange
out of the fruit bowl, my legs automatically
wander me outside
sit me down on the back step, as I pluck
the first hole with two front teeth
as you always did back then
I recall again the sound
of china teacups as they hit
the shocked walls in a song
accepted even as skin and bones
reverberated like cheap plaster.


This poem reminds me of one of your earlier poems "Returning to Figs"....Both poems are centered around sitting on the back step... Those places from childhood seem to haunt us as adults... yes? But in a good way, I guess... My place was and still is the porch swing....

For me, when reading your work, I have a sense of melancholy and sometimes, a subtle tension of simmering violence... {cups hitting the wall,} but the gentle moments of pure childhood still come through in all their beauty....and remain intact...
 

dannyboy

Friends of WF
yes in those faraway days violence always sat beneath...but there was genuine joy, and places where I could be an absolute child - I worry nowadays with screens (even TV in my childhood as only available at certain times) and stuff, are children absolute children anymore? I hope so.

There is a belief that runs though my family Jen, that some of us carry "the sense" Keryn, this orhange cousin of mine definitely, my sister and my nephew (who as a young boy, would stop every time a magpie passed and I swear they'd give each other (the bird and my nephew) a nod.
 

jenthepen

Staff member
Mentor
yes in those faraway days violence always sat beneath...but there was genuine joy, and places where I could be an absolute child - I worry nowadays with screens (even TV in my childhood as only available at certain times) and stuff, are children absolute children anymore? I hope so.

There is a belief that runs though my family Jen, that some of us carry "the sense" Keryn, this orhange cousin of mine definitely, my sister and my nephew (who as a young boy, would stop every time a magpie passed and I swear they'd give each other (the bird and my nephew) a nod.

Carrying 'the sense' sounds so much better than 'darn witch' which is what my dad used to say everytime I demonstrated this strange, intuitive side of mine. He probably believed I was a bit on the Crafty side because he used to ask me to find him a lucky four leaf clover whenever he was going to the races and I never disappointed him. (I never told him that I'd discovered a patch of clover in the back field that was rich in four leafed specimens. ;) )
 
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